Programs: Medical Malpractice Mediation - 3rd Judicial Circuit
Year started: 2007
Neutrals: Madison County judges or attorneys with court approval.
Eligibility: All medical malpractice cases.
Pro bono services available?: no
Part Five of the 3rd Judicial Circuit Court's Rules of Practice established the circuit's Medical Malpractice Mediation Program in August 2007.
The rule mandates mediation for all medical malpractice cases filed in the court. It does allow parties to move to dispense with mediation, however, if the same issue has previously been mediated between the two parties, if the issue presents a question of law only, or for other good cause.
Cases are mediated by either a Madison County judge who is trained and certified as a mediator and who is not assigned to be the trial judge for the case, or by a court-certified mediator. To obtain court certification, mediators must be a member in good standing of the Illinois Bar, have at least five years of practice experience, and complete a court-approved mediator training program. If they do not want judicial mediation, parties may choose an alternative mediator from a list maintained by the court. Judge-mediated cases are free of charge, but alternative mediators must be compensated by the parties. The rule sets the standard compensation rate at $150 per hour.
Mediations must begin within 90 days of the court referral. All parties are required to attend each mediation session in good faith. Parties' counsels of record, representatives with full authority to settle, and representatives of insurance carriers for insured parties may also attend. If a party does not attend or fails to participate in good faith, the court may impose sanctions, including costs and attorney fees.
Agreements reached in mediation will be reduce to writing and signed by parties and their counsel. Mediators file the agreements with the court within 10 days of the conclusion of the mediation. If no agreement is reached, the mediator will notify the court of the termination of mediation.
The rule also sets confidentiality guidelines for information disclosed during mediation. Except for information regarding settlement agreements provided as evidence to enforce a settlement, all communications made during mediation are confidential and exempt from discovery in court.
3rd Judicial Circuit Local Rules of Practice, Part 5: Mediation of Medical Malpractice
Text of rule: http://madisoncountycircuitcourt.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/MEDICAL-MALPRACTICE-Mediation-rules-revised-2008-4.pdf
Date adopted: August 9, 2007
Date amended: January 4, 2008
Summary: These rules describe the mandatory mediation program for medical malpractice cases filed with the court. The rules address mediator qualifications, appointment and compensation, as well as requirements for the conduct of hearings.